What Temperature Should My Heater Be Set at to Keep Warm and Save Energy?

When it comes to wanting to save money during the winter, people often wonder what the best temperature is to set their thermostat at to control their heater. Should I leave it at one temperature throughout the day? Do I adjust the thermostat settings as the day goes on? Well, let’s talk about it.

What do I set my thermostat at?

Pup in a blanket

Depending on if you are home during the day or not, the temperature that you set can and should fluctuate to stay energy efficient. For example:

  • If you are home during the day in the winter, you can save energy by setting your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If no one is home during the day, or even when everyone is going to sleep at night, your thermostat should be set to about 58 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit. (This temperature also helps keep your pipes from freezing!)

There are a few factors that can change these temperatures, such as location or climate changes, so make sure to adjust your temperatures if the average winter temperature is much higher.

FUN FACT: The lower the temperature is inside your home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss (transfer of heat).

What are ways to save energy during the day?

Typically, during the day in the winter, the most optimal comfort temperature is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes the preferred temperature is between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit, but these temperature are not always energy efficient.

The warmer it is, the faster the thermal energy will be lost outside. You want your heater to run as minimal as possible for energy efficient homes.

Some ways to stay warm during the day while having optimal energy efficiency is to set your heater to run and be set up to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and if you are still cold, wear more layers!

During the day, it is beneficial to gradually turn the air down to help you save energy. For example: if you set your thermostat at 72 in the morning, midday it should be 68, and when you go to sleep, it should be down to 66. Baby steps!

FUN FACT: You will save 1-3% off of your heating bill for every degree you lower your temperature in the winter!

How can I conserve energy at night?

At night, you really don’t need to have your heat blasting for a comfortable sleep. As a matter of fact, you want the temperature to be lower so that your body can reach “thermoneutrality.”

Thermoneutrality is when your body temperature is neutral and does not need to regulate temperature. Your body is constantly changing in temperature throughout the day, and as the day comes to an end, your body cools down. When sleeping, your body temperature drops even further, and heat radiates from your extremities.

I know you are wondering, “Why do I care about this?” The point is that you get the best sleep when your body reaches thermoneutrality, which is usually when your thermostat is between 60 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is energy conservation important?

Bundled Up

Energy conservation will help you make an effort towards reducing how much energy you are consuming and becoming energy efficient. Not only will this be helpful environmentally, but financially you will be saving as well.

A space heater, electric heater, gas heater, or any type of home heater uses a large amount of energy. If you were to cut down on the amount you are using, you will be saving big overall!

Also keep in mind that older furnaces and heat pumps will take a longer time to heat up homes, and it might be a beneficial idea to replace older heaters and applications with ones that are energy efficient.

HELPFUL TIP: Curtains and similar window treatments can reduce heat loss in a home by 10%!

Top 8 energy saving tips:

  • Wear warmer clothing
  • Regularly check and replace filters
  • Monitor your home’s humidity
  • Reverse your fan in colder months to lower energy costs and it helps draw the cool air up while circulating warm air
  • Invest in a digital thermostat to help maintain, set, and regulate temperatures throughout the day
  • Use weather stripping on unused doors and windows
  • Use your fireplace if you have one
  • Set your water tank to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce your thermal energy costs

EXTRA TIP: The more insulation you have and the better sealed your home is reduces the amount of heat that is lost!

Need a new heater? HomElectrical carries a wide variety of heater options, as well as thermostats, furnaces, and more!

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Danielle Abram
Danielle Abram

Danielle is a classic wordsmith and unapologetic user of the Oxford comma. Her experience includes blog posts, technical copy, social media copy, email marketing, product descriptions, scripts, and so much more. In other words, there's no limit to what she can write about!

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